President Muhammadu Buhari has formally declared an intention to seek re-election as President in next year’s general elections at yesterday’s meeting of the All Progress Congress (APC) National Executive Committee (NEC) held at the party Secretariat, Abuja.
The NEC meeting also unanimously agreed on waivers for the Chief John Oyegun led NWC and other executives of the party at all levels to re-contest their position if they so wish at Congresses and convention.
Plateau state governor Simon Dalung, who briefed newsmen shortly after the closed-door meeting, confirmed that President Buhari made the declaration while addressing the party´s NEC members.
Lalong said: “Everybody´s interest was considered in the report and it was a unanimous vote and adoption of the recommendations that were made. The president felt so happy and excited because of this unity in the party, this no doubt must have tilted his decision to accept the appeal by several members of the society, party and everybody that he will re-contest the 2019 election.
“He has accepted that he is going to contest again the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
While making his remarks earlier to the governor Lalong led committee, President Buhari told the meeting that his position regarding the issue of tenure elongation was “to ensure that the party tows the part of unity, legality, cohesion and not that of division.
“Therefore, I am stressing that we strengthen our internal democracy by organizing party congresses and convention where the election of national executive committee members will be held. This will automatically end the cases filed by members seeking orders of court compiling the party to hold its congresses.
“I also believe that the current executives should be free to run for an elective position in the party if they so wish and permitted by our party constitution.
“However, considering the provision of Article 30 Section 1 and Subsection 3 of our party constitution which requires any serving officer desirous seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before the election, I’m not sure of the practicality of the present servings officers ability to meet this condition.
“Accordingly, the party may consider granting waivers to party executives at all levels so that they are not disenfranchised in participating in the elections provided this does not violate our rights or our rules.”
While calling for waivers for the serving officers of the party at all levels to seek reelection, the President said: “necessary waivers should also be extended to executives at the ward level whose tenures May have elapsed and indeed to anyone knocking on our doors from other parties”.
“This gives credence to the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended. In this circumstance, the party should issue a statement on the above waivers so that our house may be full.”
“Just like our party symbols the broom, we stand by strength in unity. Let us try to be united in party, victory is sure by the grace of God. And together, we must continue to sanitize Nigeria’s Political environment.”
In his address of welcome, APC National Chairman Chief John Oyegun, lamented the insinuations surrounding the issue of tenure elongation, a controversy which he claimed caused him media attacks and added that the “responsibility imposed on me by the virtue of my position as national chairman demanded that I rise above personal pains”.
“I will like to urge everyone else to remember that regardless of our ambitions and personal interests, the party is greater than all of us.”